The latest episode of My Hero Academia, titled ‘Climax’ featured the end of the climactic fight between the Hero-killer Stain and the trifecta of Midoriya, Todoroki, and Iida. The fight was spotlighted in the episode as it should be, but I found myself drawn more to something else in this episode. The object of my intrigue wasn’t something – or rather someone, that I ever expected so this came as a bit of a surprise to me. So much so, that I felt the need to write about it.
This person is Endeavor – the number two hero.
Throughout this season, we’ve mostly seen things through the perspectives of the kids at U.A. The tournament arc put us in the headspace of Midoriya, Uraraka, Bakugo, Shinsou, Todoroki, and many others. And although this perspective remained similar in a sense that our experiences and impressions of many characters remained the same, this might not have been the case for Endeavor. He was painted, through the eyes of Todoroki, as an enemy to be overcome. Endeavor was the primary source of Todoroki’s pain in the past and served as the symbol of what not to be in the future. In an arc with no villain he was as close to the big bad as you could get. In an arc so thematically centered on family, Endeavor was the sole bad apple. He was a greedy and terrible father who only looked to defeat his rival through the achievements of his children. But everything that we know of Endeavor came from the perspective of Todoroki, for the most part. After the conclusion of the tournament arc, I couldn’t confidently tell you a lot about Endeavor. Who was he? What was he like? Why is this guy, our temporary big bad, the number two hero?
This last episode and this current arc as a whole, brought us out into a more third person perspective on the happenings of the show (outside of some specific cases). And this change in perspective allowed us to get a different angle on a number of people, including Endeavor. So what makes him tick? What’s he all about? Well what I gathered from this episode was that Endeavor takes the business of being a hero seriously. He delegates work where he can to trusted individuals and takes on the work that he believes that only he can take on. He doesn’t show off and he doesn’t play up his heroism – he’s as by the book as you can get. Saving people is important to the job and that’s as far as it goes. He’s efficient, analytic, and never underestimates his enemies – in other words, he respects the power of his foes. And this idea of respect extends to every person he comes across. He’ll give you a baseline level of respect depending how you look and if you earn it, he’ll carry it forward.
He’s one hell of a pragmatic hero and that makes him good at his job. If All Might was in his shoes, I’m sure that he wouldn’t hesitate to chase after Shoto despite the fact that he might have been more needed in the fight ahead. And that fact in itself marks the difference between the two. All Might is the ideal hero, exceptionally strong and incredibly caring. Endeavor checks off only one of those two boxes and that’s what makes the difference. All this solidifies his status as the number two hero. This is Endeavor, so we’re done here, right?
Well, from all that was shown about Endeavor, I still wanted to see something else from him. With the way that he approaches heroism, it’s easy to continue painting him black, especially given how he was portrayed before. But for all that the show has said thus far, I’d like to think that there’s much more to his character than meets the eye. Small details like the respect he gives his fellow heroes and the trust he had in Shoto to take care of things while also giving him the backup that he may have needed, showed inklings of a man that isn’t as quite deplorable as we might think. And the mere fact that he became a hero, let alone a hero of this caliber, meant that he shared in the dreams and ambitions that all of the kids of U.A., have now.
The end of the episode seemed to imply that this was not the first time that Endeavor and Stain have met, and the prospect of being able to see Endeavor’s past with Stain is pretty exciting. I want to see more about how this man came to be the number two hero. I want to see what about Endeavor character enraged Stain so much. My Hero Academia’s optimism and generally positive outlook on its characters has been one of its major highlights for me and this makes it hard to believe that this is as much as we’ll get about Endeavor. As always, I look forward to seeing more and more of the various shades of gray that Endeavor’s yet to reveal.
I’m sad to say that I couldn’t find either source for the awesome art I included. Hit me up if you ever find them so I can properly give credit where it’s due. Thanks!